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Sports Center Art Sculptures to be Dedicated Thursday

The “Circle of Life” public art installation features two metal rings with people performing sports activities.

No, they’re not Stargates. The two giant metal rings in front of the Union City Sports Center are the latest in the city’s efforts to create more public art.

Recently erected, the Circle of Life will be unveiled this Thursday at a dedication ceremony that will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the .

The art piece features two large 10-feet high by 12-feet wide metallic rings with silhouettes of people performing various sports activities.

The installation “represents the continuous exploration of physical achievement by humans,” according to a press release issued by the City of Union City.

In the works for two years, the “Circle of Life” was created by San Francisco artists Jonathan and Saori Russell of Red Metal Arts. According to their website, the artists have also created public art in San Francisco, Emeryville and Berlin.

The total cost of the project was approximately $100,000, according to Rhea Serran, the communications manager for the city of Union City.

When the city opened the Sports Center in 2007, it included $100,000 for public art in its budget, Serran said. The art was budgeted under the Special Parks Fund, according to Serran.

The City of Union City also includes a chapter in its municipal code that requires public art in new city-sponsored and private developments. In projects where public art installations aren’t feasible, developers are required to pay an in-lieu fee into the Public Art Fund, according to chapter 12.40 of the city’s municipal code.

A large mural is planned for the Union City Station Center to be painted alongside the new MidPen Housing Corporation development at 34888 11th St.

The “Circle of Life” dedication will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Union City Sports Center located at 31224 Union City Blvd.

Johnny C. May 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM
They are very nice but I can see nasty little vandals scratching names/ profanities onto the shiny metal surfaces already :-(
ordinary joe May 28, 2012 at 01:56 PM
'Circel of Life' - whose life? Whose money? How about calling it 'Circle of Measures'? We should have one circle for every measure passed to raise the City revenues!
Davis May 28, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Another example of the City wasting money.
xpo081 May 28, 2012 at 04:58 PM
This is something the citizens of UC should be proud of. It makes our city look nicer and that we're encouraging physical fitness and bringing a community together through sports. The money invested in the sculpture is so cheap compared to what other cities spend. Art, culture and sports are some things that make a city great. This is one of them.
Irene May 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I have to say I am not a fan of these rings and when they are lit up at night I truely hate the sight of them. I'm not opposed to public art, but our city can't seem to ever get it right. The sports center was a very attractive building before the rings were installed, but I can't say that now. Definately not worth the $100k that was spent.
Sports Center Regular May 28, 2012 at 09:52 PM
What Irene said - the Sports Center looked GREAT before the stargates. I'm no architect, but it seemed the design really highlighted the flow of people in and out. Very curious what the architects think of this addition. And - 100 grand? No freakin' way!!! Stargate bling! No offense Red Metal Arts, I'm all for artists making a living off their art, but this is a seriously bogus waste of money.
Edward May 28, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Light them up and have motion sensing cameras so anyone vandelizing them will be sent a bill and be posted on the "Patch".
Big daddy May 29, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Of course Mayor Green and his band of "YES" men green lit this project!! How much did this useless project cost the city tax payers?? What ever the cost, the money could have been used for training or new equipment for UCPD or anything more productive than these pieces of art!! The Union City gym was perfect the way it was, but as always the city wants to spend more money they don't have. We need change now!

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